A new decade has started and it’s time to see what the previous one left us. Football is always giving us new and exciting things to record and remember. When it comes to transfers, we got very excited to see our favorite players going to certain teams.
This decade left a lot of bad moves from some of the best clubs in Europe, but this time we’re talking about the other signings that paid off. Players that instantly made an impact in their teams or became big figures after a bad tenure on a different side.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some players that didn’t cost that much but ended up being incredibly good additions for their teams. Here are the top 10 best transfers of the decade.
Honorable Mention: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach to Barcelona), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Barcelona)
10. Jadon Sancho (Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund)
Jadon Sancho is one of the most in-demand players in European football right now, but none of that would have happened if he stayed with Manchester City. The youngster signed with Borussia Dortmund when he was still a teenager and the rest is history.
Sancho has become one of the biggest promises in football with his performances with Dortmund, increasing his transfer value season after season. He landed in Dortmund for just €8 million and the Black and Yellows could send him next summer for over €100 million.
9. N’Golo Kante (Caen to Leicester City)
N’Golo Kante landed in Leicester for only €9 million from Caen, but that decision was the best the Foxes could have made. The midfielder helped his team become Premier League champions when nobody believed in them, with him having a key role in that conquest.
He’s now part of Chelsea and is followed by the biggest clubs in the old continent, showing how good he’s gotten with the Blues. Kante is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world and it’s only a matter of time before we see him playing in bigger stages.
8. Alisson Becker (Roma to Liverpool)
We’re talking about non-expensive transfers here, and Alisson is not one of them. Liverpool paid Roma €72 million to get the Brazilian goalkeeper, but he’s proven over and over that he’s worth every penny the Merseysiders paid for him.
For instance, he just won the Lev Yashin Award in December. This prize is basically the Ballon d’Or award for goalkeepers. This guy gets better by the day and Liverpool fans can’t be happier he’s part of his team after overwhelming performances by Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.
7. David Silva (Valencia to Manchester City)
The Magician was a very promising player with Spanish side Valencia, but it wasn’t until he signed with Manchester City that he fulfilled his potential. Silva is considered one of the best midfielders in the world, even at 33.
He’s leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, but there is no doubt that he will always be remembered as one of the best signings the Citizens could have made. A true leader, a phenomenon with the ball in his feet; there are plenty of reasons to believe he deserves to be on this list.
6. Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich to Real Madrid)
Toni Kroos was great with Bayern Munich, but he took his game to the next level when he landed in Madrid to join one of the best creative zones in European football. That wasn’t a problem for the German, who instantly became a regular starter for Los Blancos.
Kroos has been great for the Spanish giants, helping them win several Champions League titles, scoring important goals when nobody expected them and always carrying the team alongside Luka Modric and Casemiro. The best part of all is that he only cost €25 million.
5. Mohamed Salah (Roma to Liverpool)
At some point during the decade, Liverpool were considered a team that spent a lot of money on players that didn’t live up to the expectations. Mohamed Salah was expected to be another case after a failed tenure with Chelsea.
Well, the ‘Egyptian King’ proved his doubters wrong when he arrived at Anfield from Roma, starting a revolution in Merseyside. Salah quickly became one of the deadliest attackers in Europe, helping Liverpool play in two Champions League finals, winning the most recent one against Tottenham, where he scored the opener.
4. Sadio Mane (Southampton to Liverpool)
Yes, another Liverpool player. These guys somehow learned how to sign players and they did it a great way. Sadio Mane is another proof of that. The Senegalese international was seen as a gamble by some back in 2016, but Jurgen Klopp’s side is extremely happy to have him with them.
Sadio won the Premier League’s golden boot last year, picking things where he left them this season. He’s been a great addition to the Reds, who enjoy his hard work and dedication every week. There is no doubt, this guy deserves to be here.
3. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City)
Sergio Aguero was one of the most promising strikers in the world during his days with Atletico Madrid, drawing a lot of attention from top clubs. It was Manchester City who landed the Argentine attacker, who would go on to become one of their biggest idols.
He didn’t come cheap in 2011, but Aguero repaid his transfer in just one season. He scored in his debut with the team and gave City the Premier League title in one of the most dramatic definitions football fans could have witnessed. He’s only once failed to score 20 or more goals in a single season for City since his arrival at the club, so that tells you how impressive he’s been at Manchester.
2. Eden Hazard (Lille to Chelsea)
Eden Hazard was outstanding when he played for Ligue 1 side Lille, leading Chelsea to disburse €35 million for him. The rest is history as the Belgian became the star of the club in his seven seasons at Stamford Bridge.
He was a key figure for Chelsea, who won two Premier League titles, two Europa League crowns, and one FA Cup. Earlier this year, Chelsea let Hazard go to Real Madrid to fulfill his dream, but nobody can say he didn’t give his best to the West London side.
1. Luka Modric (Tottenham to Real Madrid)
The number one spot on this list couldn’t be none other than Luka Modric. The Croatian midfielder has been the best player in his position for a big chunk of his career. He started to show his quality with Tottenham, which prompted Real Madrid to sign him for €35 million in 2012.
Luka has been absolutely marvelous for Los Blancos, becoming integral to Real's squad, twice voted La Liga's best midfielder, before winning the Ballon d'Or in 2018.
He’s helped Madrid win four Champions League trophies, which is not a coincidence seeing all the good things he provided from the midfield. Without any hesitation, Luka Modric is the best transfer of this decade.